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Topping Out?


Moss Trooper
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Hi Folks

The question is have we topped out on quality?

 

When I started this game I would place a cache.. JasonW would place a cache and we would both go searching and enjoy.

 

I have learnt so much about my local area, give or take 50 mile. Finding post holes in a river bed, from a bridge built by the Romans a while ago. And then realising I walked the same trail long before GPS was even a twinkle!!!

 

There seems now to be a culture of placing caches for the sake of it.

 

Do folks think that we should accept that we have topped out, and ther should now be no pressure on new cachers, or any one for that matter to plant a cache. Shouldn’t we just let the new comers go out and find quality caches, appreciate what is about and absorb it.

 

This thing on Motorway Mayhem and the others, plus the comments that were VERY tongue in cheek seem to be nothing more than picking up numbers.

 

We are a small country and I am glad I was in on the start. But I can now see that we should now try an focus on quality and not it meets the guide lines.

 

As an ex reviewer.. I would not want to be in the shoes of our intrepid trio these days.. Toooooooooo much pressure.. and I’m probably more of a cause than most.

:o

Please.. No flame wars just good solid discussion on how to maintain geocacheing in the UK..

Moss T

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Hi Folks

The question is have we topped out on quality?

 

When I started this game I would place a cache.. JasonW would place a cache and we would both go searching and enjoy.

 

I have learnt so much about my local area, give or take 50 mile. Finding post holes in a river bed, from a bridge built by the Romans a while ago. And then realising I walked the same trail long before GPS was even a twinkle!!!

 

There seems now to be a culture of placing caches for the sake of it.

 

Do folks think that we should accept that we have topped out, and ther should now be no pressure on new cachers, or any one for that matter to plant a cache. Shouldn’t we just let the new comers go out and find quality caches, appreciate what is about and absorb it.

 

This thing on Motorway Mayhem and the others, plus the comments that were VERY tongue in cheek seem to be nothing more than picking up numbers.

 

We are a small country and I am glad I was in on the start. But I can now see that we should now try an focus on quality and not it meets the guide lines.

 

As an ex reviewer.. I would not want to be in the shoes of our intrepid trio these days.. Toooooooooo much pressure.. and I’m probably more of a cause than most.

:o

Please.. No flame wars just good solid discussion on how to maintain geocacheing in the UK..

Moss T

i agree and have thought this for a while.i think more care should be taken before placing caches.i agree that caches seem to be placed just for the sake of it.i have done some that seem that the cacher has just been walking along and just thrown it down and thought thats ok for a place for a cache and just left it.

i agree about placing more quality caches and enjoying them.

i am now more interested in quality cachhes then numbers now.and i certainly enjoy my surroundings more then just rushing up to a cache signing the log and rushing off.

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I'd agree that lots of caches seem to be placed for the sake of it and life could carry on without them.

 

But, There is a huge scope still for quality locations and caches. All we can really do is try to encourage cachers in general to take more time in thinking about where they want to place a cache and why. Then hopefully the quality will get back to earlier days.

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I too have been thinking along these lines for some time. At first I wasn't sure if it was just a local phenomenon but, after seeing comments here, it does seem to be widespread. Probably as a direct result of this I have also noticed an increase in the numbers of poorly/non maintained caches, including caches not checked out by the owner after a string of DNF's. or other comments in logs (wet log books etc.)

 

I get the impression that it appears to be worse in urban areas. The number of new rural caches being placed doesn't seem to have changed much over the years while the towns are getting covered in a blizzard of micros. At the same time, my impression is that the hit rate on the 'traditional' type of rural cache has decreased, except for the power trails. This could be a function of the fuel price rises. A few years ago I would happily drive 15 miles or so for one or two caches; whereas now I try to make up a trip of half a dozen or so before travelling any distance. This is clearly easier to do in an urban setting.

 

Having said all that, there doesn't seem to be any real answer except to preach the themes or quality rather than quantity, as much as possible.

 

By the way, does anyone know if there is a limit on the mumber of entries an 'Ignore List' can hold?

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I'm quite happy to seek a top-quality cache (and there seems to be lots of them around, much more than a few years ago) and pick up a couple of "run-of-the-mill" ones on the way. Sometimes there may seem nothing special about a cache, but it can turn out to be a memorable spot: the "I wouldn't have gone here were it not for Geocaching" type.

You have to recognise that there are several sub-games within Geocaching now, and it's all the better for it. I guess that you don't like the "numbers" game particularly, ro the "sneaky urban hides" game, so why not ignore these and spend a little longer researching the best caches of the type you like? There must be dozens of brilliant ones within 100 miles that you haven't done.

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Totally agree Moss, I have been banging on for the last three years about quality over quantity but seemed if no one paid any interest.

The circular walks are a nice diversion though as you do get some quality time in a specific area.

We should set up some exemplars as a pointer to all.

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I'm guessing that when Waymarking and geocaching gets merged later in the year, we'll have much more Waymarking-style facilities for selecting and categorising caches. Although I totally disagree that there are fewer "quality" caches around, I'd concede that with the large number of caches now available it's harder to pick out the type you're likely to be interested in.

"Attributes" don't really help, in that there's no measure of quality in there. And cache seekers can't judge the quality of a hide very easily either: it depends what they're looking for and whether that fits with what the cache hider had in mind. A lot of people might avoid a cache that's in the middle of a trackless wilderness: but does it make it a rubbish cache if the cache owner had no intention of attracting people who prefer easily-accessed caches?

 

What Groundspeak should have done a long time ago was to have allowed the cache submitter to select "Categories" for the cache. Then you could have placed your cache in the relevant category/categories (e.g. quick stop along a route, historic places, good walks, viewpoints, puzzles to solve at home...etc etc).

That's why I mentioned Waymarking (I hope I get away with it), as that already has this facility - for instance if you're interested in picking up a couple of easy "virtuals" in a city you can ignore the likes of "mountain summits" or "trig points" without having to fiddle around setting up ignore lists. So I hope we'll get this facility in geocaching.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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Totally agree to the extent that I've pretty much lost interest and haven't been caching for ages. The next one I'm after - I hope I might do more, though - is in the middle of France. Although there are definitely more quality ones nearer than that. :blink:

Edited by jerryo
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Well, I'm not in the greatest position to comment because due to various reasons (illnesses, operations, work, idleness, bone idleness, laziness, another Groundspeak GPS hobby, etc) we haven't been the most avid of cachers over the years, but ...

 

[...] ther should now be no pressure on new cachers, or any one for that matter to plant a cache. Shouldn’t we just let the new comers go out and find quality caches, appreciate what is about and absorb it. [...]

 

I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with this.

 

I'm not sure there is pressure (apart from the odd post suggesting that the hide:find ratio is a virtuous measure of how much you have "put in" to caching - which imho is rot) but there shouldn't be.

 

I think we do let new comers go & find, as you say. If we don't do so then that's bad. The pressure you refer to is (I suspect) self imposed by the desire to join in.

 

There should also not be pressure in the opposite direction. While it's sound advice not to place a cache until you have a few finds under your belt, that's all it is: advice. We wouldn't want a situation to develop where the elders of caching sneer at newcomers and tell them not to place caches until they have 500 finds. (I'm not saying that happens! Just that it shouldn't.)

 

All in all, I think we have developed an eye for quality (which is of course a matter of taste) when planning a caching expedition so by just ignoring the ones we don't like, we don't see them. This approach is either a.) magnanamously accepting that tastes differ and some people like urban micros etc. or b.) ignoring a problem that, if not addressed, could ultimately be to the detriment of UK caching. I don't know which.

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What Groundspeak should have done a long time ago was to have allowed the cache submitter to select "Categories" for the cache.

Well, "should" is quite a strong word, and to even agree what the categories should be, would be hard enough, let alone to re-categorise all caches, so that ain't going to happen - not for existing caches.

 

However, going forward, the new architecture will allow for this (from what I've read). Behind the scenes Geocaches will be in a category (or categories? - trad, multi, etc).

 

But if, as you say "Attributes don't really help, in that there's no measure of quality in there" I can't see how categorisation would help either, as no one would willingly cateogrise their cache as "low quality nano on dog poo bin" Would they? :)

 

That's why I mentioned Waymarking (I hope I get away with it)

Ha! You'll be lucky! :blink:

 

I think the proliferation of caches is the price of success. If they are truly poor they will not be found/maintained. This puts extra load on our long-suffering heroic reviewers to trawl for caches that need archiving. The only other alternative I can see would be to toughen up the rules to make only "good" :) caches allowable - and I think that might cause a bit of a stink!

Edited by Team Sieni
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So what would folk class as a quality cache. I dont have the 100s in like lots of you so it would be interesting to see what folk class as quality.

 

The missus and young one do not like micro's or urban caches, but I dont mind them. They have taken me to some places that I have walked past for years and didnt know was there, so to me thats a cache worth doing and i do these ones alone.

 

However I do understand the point that some caches just seem to be placed because its x mts from the other cache and they are hidden in a hedgerow with no imagination. Then again if its in a hedgerow and disguised as something else that makes me smile then that is a quality cache, to me. Maybe not the location but the way it has been thought through.

 

So howay folk give me and others a few ideas as to what constitutes a quality cache in your opinion and who knows you may solve your problem via this thread.

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This topic reminds me a bit of "weren't like this in my day!" and "young folk nowadays" stuff :blink:

 

Anyway as to the question I kind of agree which means that it's not just a symptom of caching in the UK. It's kind of inevitable IMO. There are more and more people getting interested in caching and every new person that starts wants to place their own caches. This exuberance often results in lots of caches being placed by cachers with quite low numbers. They've usually only found easy caches and these may have also been placed by cachers that have also recently joined so you end up in a vicious circle.

 

However, here in Ireland I also see quite a few cachers that are pretty experienced, have a high number of finds and also own a large number of caches. They also place caches that I might look at and think "Why?". However, what I tend to find is that people place caches of a type that they like to find so just because I don't like them doesn't mean that others don't. One man's meat etc.

 

I'm looking forward to some kind of recognition for interesting and enjoyable caches similar to what happens on Waymarking (that's two mentions in this thread now!). This recognises good caches without hammering those with less enjoyable ones. In the meantime everyone has a responsibilty to feedback honestly what they think of caches via their logs. I don't like to see people slagging a cache when they don't like it but I firmly believe in praising a cache when it's good.

 

For example I don't like nanos. I always point this out in my log [Link] but if it's a good location I always say so too.

 

I also left this log on a cache series that I found a couple of weeks ago that I really enjoyed: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...ce-8ad56e276baf

 

I'm not saying what I do is perfect but I feel it helps people find and enjoy better caches and that can't be a bad thing :)

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But if, as you say "Attributes don't really help, in that there's no measure of quality in there" I can't see how categorisation would help either, as no one would willingly cateogrise their cache as "low quality nano on dog poo bin" Would they? :blink:

I agree, but that's not the point. Often people refer to "quality caches" as if there's some objective measure. What's "quality" to Moss might be "appalling" to someone else.

 

The only way you can tell whether the cache is a good one is by having some indication from the cache owner of what the intention was. Sometimes you can if you have time to read loads of cache descriptions: for example, a cache description includes something like "a long walk rewarded by great views and an easy find with plenty of swaps". You know what to anticipate, but if it turns out that you drive right up to the cache area and spend an hour searching through nettles and litter, only to find an almost-empty box - it's a failure as a cache.

 

The "categorisation" idea is just that you'd select one or more established categories to define your cache. I don't think there'd be one for "low quality nano on dog poo bin" :) . But there might be one for "Drive by" caches: also one for "nano caches". You'd be able to search by selecting both these categories ("Show me/exclude me all the local drive-by nano caches").

 

I still insist that quality is not the issue here: it's the inability to quickly find caches which you're likely to enjoy.

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People are always going on about quality being a subjective measure. This of course is true, but I think that there would be a fair degree of consensus about what constitutes quality- no one likes litter, most people like nice scenic views, most people would prefer some interesting point (eg historical significance) than the lack of it, most people prefer a well thought out hide to almost a random placement etc.

I did on a post a while back make the assumption that quality of caches was declining and I was challenged by 'old school' cachers who claimed many of the early caches were junk. I do think it is a shame for low quality caches to be placed as there is still ample room for good caches to be placed- I would be surprised if the UK couldn't accomodate 100,000 decent caches. I suppose one problem could be that caching tends to spring up in local areas, spurred on by the social aspect. It is possible that in these 'hotspots' there could be saturation, but the problem is a rare one atm imo.

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Hi Moss et al,

I read your OP first thing this morning, and I've been working all day and have now put my feet up with a glass of vino, but I'm so kn@ckered that I haven't read all the intervening replies so forgive me if I'm just repeating or ignoring what others have said.

 

I haven't been in the game as long as you so I don't know what things were like in the early days, but I agree there is a bit of a saturation issue. If everyone placing a cache looks for a special place to hide it then it stands to reason that those special places will be used up early on and subsequent hiders have fewer 'special' places to hide their tupperware. I wouldn't go so far as to say we've topped out yet, but perhaps we're approaching the event horizon. Having said that there's nothing to stop us being selective about which caches we go hunting for, so perhaps if we're more selective then the less interesting ones will die off through lack of visitors?

 

M:

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:blink::) Please don't metion puzzle caches. I look at some of them and lose the will to live. I just don't get half of them. I just get puzzled!! lol. I seem to have a mental block. Or is it a secret society that I don't know about? :):D

that explains how i feel.glad its not just me

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Did not measure it accurately (5 notches on search size), but it includes the city centre and a reasonable amount of the outskirts- caches in Sheffield 17, Manchester 19, Birmingham 25, Liverpool 20 suggests to me we are a long way from saturation. OK I am being somewhat selective and you could point to around Stockport, Perth, Leighton Buzzard and others as a counter-argument, but by most definitions, the ones I have mentioned are far far larger in size/caching opportunities. Even the cache rich London has many opportunities for further placements of quality caches. I must say that I feel the quality of Central London caches is very high (and no this is not self-congratulatory as I haven't placed any there myself).

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I think the psychology of cache finding is quite interesting. If you look at the ratings on geocacheuk the drive-by caches rate poorly... but they also have lots of finds. The average cacher seems to prefer finding lots of caches, none of which they enjoy much on an individual level, to finding one that they will enjoy a lot. I guess it is the enjoyment of racking up numbers that outweighs the enjoyment of doing an interesting cache. Maybe this is related to the enjoyment people get from collecting things with caches replacing the more usual stamps or train numbers.

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OK, since this thread is a discussion (as suggested by Moss in the OP) I'll put forward my opinion from the other side of the fence!

 

Firstly, IMHO, I wouldn't say there is any pressure on new cachers to place caches. As alluded to in an earlier post, any pressure is self imposed, and stems from a desire to join in. Additionally, I think we would all agree that one of the better aspects of caching is reading the logs on our own caches. Obviously, the better the cache, the better the log, so there's an in-built incentive to keep the quality up. Any boring caches will receive boring logs. They may stick around for a bit, will eventually be archived, and subsequent caches placed by that cacher will be better, in the hope of getting better logs.

 

Secondly, is it not a little harsh to say (paraphrasing a lot :D ) "we've been playing this game for years, used up all the decent locations, and all you noobs can't hide any more cos we've got enough". I know thats not precisely what was said, but thats how it could be understood!

 

Regarding quality, this is a VERY subjective matter. We've done nearly 1000 caches now (still lots less than many other posters on here) and I can in all honesty say that our favourite caches probably don't involve any scenic views (maybe incidentally), long walks, or many of the other supposed measures of quality proposed on here. One of my fav caches in the 1000 is a micro in central london, another is a small box under some railway arches, and a third is a small box in the vicinity of a parking area in the countryside around oxford. No sweeping vistas or long walks in sight!

 

Round here we have a large number of puzzles. like em or hate em, they keep things different. Because of this, we've started placing some trads ourselves. Many of them are not in areas with views, or in fact much going for them at all, EXCEPT the hide itself. All are unusual hides, requiring a bit of ingenuity. the 'quality' is the hide itself, and the location is largely irrelevent. Should these not be allowed though...?

 

Finally, we have the church micro series. Still in its infancy, but spreading! The cache itself is typically a boring little film cannister. On the other hand, the locations are all ones that we would never have visited, and all are within about 5 miles of our house. So there you have the flip side - a cache thats all about the location, and the cache container itself is totally irrelevent to our enjoyment of the cache.

 

Phew!

 

Dave

 

PS - insert smilies where appropriate! :lol::lol:

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While I broadly agree with what Moss originally said and a lot of what has followed, I still think there is room for variety in the game. As has been said what is rubbish to one is good fun to another, even if it is only another number in his count.

I was interested in the idea of categorization though not sure how it could be made to work - what I really object to is the sort of cache where it is obvious no real effort has been made to make it interesting, sometimes just an unpunctuated note on the lines of here it is and come and get it. One short series not a million miles from my home had no descrtiptions at all - yes I logged them as I knew the area was quite interesting (I had one of my own caches in the same Reserve) but one or two of us registered our views by logging without comment either. :lol:

While I am ranting I also am afraid that more caches these days are in poor condition. I will hang my head in shame and admit that I know at least two of mine are wet and must get to them to repair. Somtimes the poor condition is the result of inadequate preparation and inadequate boxes for the conditions - but too often too I fear that the finders are responsible either by not keeping the caches out of the rain when inspecting them or by compromising the seal on the boxes by trapping bits of vegetation or pieces of the contents in the rim of the boxes when they close them. I'd better stop now or I will go on about boxes wrapped in smelly torn plastic bags and that would really be getting off topic. :D

I think the real plea is for owners of caches to give some thought to what they are doing and to give their readers some idea of what the intention is behind the cache.

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Hi Moss et al,

I read your OP first thing this morning, and I've been working all day and have now put my feet up with a glass of vino, but I'm so kn@ckered that I haven't read all the intervening replies so forgive me if I'm just repeating or ignoring what others have said.

 

I haven't been in the game as long as you so I don't know what things were like in the early days, but I agree there is a bit of a saturation issue. If everyone placing a cache looks for a special place to hide it then it stands to reason that those special places will be used up early on and subsequent hiders have fewer 'special' places to hide their tupperware. I wouldn't go so far as to say we've topped out yet, but perhaps we're approaching the event horizon. Having said that there's nothing to stop us being selective about which caches we go hunting for, so perhaps if we're more selective then the less interesting ones will die off through lack of visitors?

 

M:

 

Well I said it a few years ago "how much fun will it be when there is a cache under every stone."

Its a lot worse than I could possibly imagine.

I used to look up from my home location and pick a cache or three and go and find them. They could be miles apart but we felt a sense of achievement. Now when I look there are hundreds to choose from and I just can't be bothered to work out which ones to do as most of them are Micros in horrible locations that I would not want to go. some of the ones I have been to I have not even bothered to look for the cache and moved on for a walk somewhere nice.

In the early days I knew what a Walker Dan or a Moss Trouper cache would be like. Great locations in great places.

Now the standard is dreadful with another dreadful cache just around the corner.

I think we all are guilty of saying how well you enjoyed doing th e cache or just a short message. A short TNLN TFTC FFTP MTMP or other such message means to me that it was not good. We should all start saying what we think. The honest truth about the cache. Saying that it was awful may deter others from putting out what they will see by the logs a an undesirable location or cache type.

you should all try it

No more Mr nice guy or it will be more of the same times hundreds.

Its too late now to go back but I dread to think what it will be like in another two years time.

Looking for a cache to do for tomorrow made me look on here and I am once again going out with the dog and not going to bother to try to find a cache.

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As a relative newcomer, even I've seen a change in the make up of insta-notification emails over the past 8 months or so. I agree that quality is an issue and can see how it's changed over the years.

 

That said, I've gained enough experience now to work out whose caches are normally great and whose are not my cuppa tea. It takes a bit of mental filtering that can't really be achieved by attributes or g:uk ratings (not that I don't value both when making choices) to look for caches from people I know set good ones when I'm planning a trip out.

 

To be honest, I can't remember doing a cache in the last six months where I thought "why did I bother?" I know there's lots of them, but they can be avoided. I agree that seeing the wheat through the chaff is sometimes difficult but there's still lots of wheat out there :D

Edited by JeremyR
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IMHO, the attributes that go to make a quality cache are in direct proportion to the level of education achieved by the setter. It revolves around the thirst for knowledge and an expanded imagination.

There are a number of caches set that contradict this, but generally it holds true.

 

Sock puppet, yes, but everytime I have criticised a cache in the log, the abuse that comes back is quite extraordinary. I criticise to either assist the setter or to warn those that follow, but it all seems to fall on deaf ears.

Moss Topper, you are correct in raising this issue once again, but I am afraid that it will have little effect. I would like to think otherwise

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IMHO, the attributes that go to make a quality cache are in direct proportion to the level of education achieved by the setter. It revolves around the thirst for knowledge and an expanded imagination.

There are a number of caches set that contradict this, but generally it holds true.

 

Sock puppet, yes, but everytime I have criticised a cache in the log, the abuse that comes back is quite extraordinary. I criticise to either assist the setter or to warn those that follow, but it all seems to fall on deaf ears.

Moss Topper, you are correct in raising this issue once again, but I am afraid that it will have little effect. I would like to think otherwise

 

i won't say its wrong to write a critical log, but would it be better to discuss any issues in private initially? maybe a very brief TNLN to start with (which hints that the cache may not be brilliant) with a view to modifying the log later. If the setter doesn't seem to care, then a more critical log can be put. :D

 

Nobody particularly enjoys being criticised, but to start off with a relatively public criticism might just put their backs up! :lol: Oh, and i don't know your real persona, but i don't think i've had a critical log from you! :lol:

 

I'm still wondering where all these utterly cr*p caches are! I can honestly say I've only done one, and that was archived after only a few months anyway!

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While our area is full of great caches there are 2 which are just plonked at random points in the forest. One of these I would struggle to find a less attractive part of the forest if I tried. But they still get similar logs to all of the other caches in the area and probably more finds as they are easy. :D

 

We are responsible for encouraging quality caches with quality logs.

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<<There seems now to be a culture of placing caches for the sake of it.>>

 

Errr... this game is called geocaching, not "Let's find the local churchyard", or something similar.

 

Geocaching is the game of finding caches, hence lots are being placed "for the sake of it" - that's precisely why they are placed!

 

Keep at it - let's place many, many, many more... and as long as they are in decent areas, free from danger than we have no problem...

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I was interested in the idea of categorization though not sure how it could be made to work

We already have it in waym**king (which is why I felt obliged to mention that hot potato above), and it seems to work very well.

The idea would be to simply add your cache to what you think is a suitable category (or more than one). Categories would be proposed and added Waymarking-style. If you fancy finding caches with long walks and good views, you simply list the appropriate category.

 

I agree with what Purple Pineapple said entirely: and I think that debates about "quality" are largely based on a disparity between what the cache owner's inspiration was and what cache seekers' expectations are.

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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There is already a solution to the 'problem', if there is a problem

 

The 'needs maintenance' log option can be used for caches that need maintenance - or deletion!

 

Just remember as you look down in disdain on other placer's efforts, that we all started somewhere - and the elder statesmen of the community bagged most of the really good photogenic spots

 

Some of the new caches are really rather inventive

 

edit:typo

Edited by macroderma
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I was interested in the idea of categorization though not sure how it could be made to work

We already have it in waym**king (which is why I felt obliged to mention that hot potato above), and it seems to work very well.

Many thanks - perhaps I should look at that site again - I did when it was new and thought it was not for me. And the idea of merger was not one I had heard about - how certain is that?

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Personally I have always thought that there should be a limit to the number of caches placed. Say about 20 for each caching team. I know it's a low number and it would affect many of the experienced cachers, especially those that thrive on placing them, but it might encourage people to think more carefully about the caches they place. By doing this people would be forced to archive there less popular or older caches if they wanted to place any more and hopefully it would encourage a higher quality. In addition it wouldn't prevent new cachers from hiding caches and areas would come back into circulation for new caches. 20 would be an easier number to maintain so there would be less wet logbooks as people would be more prepared to maintain them. It would also slow down the growth of mass power trails. I know there would be ways around it (second accounts etc) but people will always find loopholes. Anyway I think it's a good idea even if no-one else does.

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Personally I have always thought that there should be a limit to the number of caches placed. Say about 20 for each caching team. I know it's a low number and it would affect many of the experienced cachers, especially those that thrive on placing them, but it might encourage people to think more carefully about the caches they place. ........................ 20 would be an easier number to maintain so there would be less wet logbooks as people would be more prepared to maintain them.

 

I agree with some of what Chas says there....

 

I can't abide a soggy loggy, and it irritates me when the cache belongs to an established cacher, who (probably) has more than 1500 hides, is out caching every weekend, and owns over 50 caches. Very sweeping statements I know... but....

 

If they have so many caches, they can't get out and maintain as readily, and if they are so established that gthey like to be out every weekend caching, that just adds to the problem!!

 

On the other hand... Newbie cachers... hmmm they get my goat too....

 

There have been a few incidents lately where a newbie has got under 5 caches under their belt and has gone off and placed one, or two, or even 5!!!

 

Newbies irritate me in that they couldn't possibly know what constitutes a good cache after having doen under 20 - 50 caches - surely??????

 

Maybe I'm gonna get flamed for that, but hey - I don't care!!!!

 

:D:o

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There have been a few incidents lately where a newbie has got under 5 caches under their belt and has gone off and placed one, or two, or even 5!!!

 

Newbies irritate me in that they couldn't possibly know what constitutes a good cache after having doen under 20 - 50 caches - surely??????

Sometimes newbies are actually members of a very experienced team that now wish to cache alone. Sometimes the account will never have a find on it as it's for placement only. I do see your point though :o

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There have been a few incidents lately where a newbie has got under 5 caches under their belt and has gone off and placed one, or two, or even 5!!!

 

Newbies irritate me in that they couldn't possibly know what constitutes a good cache after having doen under 20 - 50 caches - surely??????

Sometimes newbies are actually members of a very experienced team that now wish to cache alone. Sometimes the account will never have a find on it as it's for placement only. I do see your point though :o

 

Appreciate your point... although the newbies that prompted me to make that comment are NOT members of a team that has previous experience!!

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Maybe there should be some line on a new cache form that asks why you are placing the cache. If you can't come up with a good reason then it should not be allowed. The 20 cache limit is interesting but I fear too limiting. Many of the best hiders have placed loads more than this. Also it only leaves me 1 more to place, and unless I make this a New River, Watford, Shetland multi, this is not enough! I think that many cachers feel an unwritten obligation to "contribute" by placing caches, a bit like you don't want to be seen not to be getting your round in. Of course contributing is questionable if it is through junk caches, just as if your "round" consisted of WKD blue (or any other colour for that matter).

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Limiting the number of caches a team sets would be wrong!

One of our local cachers has over 100 to his name and they are extremely well maintained in great locations and he only uses micros as a last resort in a location that is interesting in itself. If anyone posts a comment about the condition of any of them he will be out checking it within days!

 

Another local cacher has fewer than ten and (despite still logging on to GC regularly) never replies to DNFs or maintenance requests.

 

 

 

Being honest in logs about a cache being poor would only work if you never set any yourself as it just attracts retaliatory logs... :laughing:

 

 

Edit: typo

Edited by Delta68
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Limiting the number of caches a team sets would be wrong!

One of our local cachers has over 100 to his name and they are extremely well maintained in great locations and he only uses micros as a last resort in a location that is interesting in itself. If anyone posts a comment about the condition of any of them he will be out checking it within days!

 

Another local cacher has fewer than ten and (despite still logging on to GC regularly) never replies to DNFs or maintenance requests.

 

 

 

Being honest in logs about a cache being poor would only work if you never set any yourself as it just attracts retaliatory logs... :laughing:

 

 

Edit: typo

 

I know exactly what you are saying because I know similar cachers and it's difficult to find fault with their maintenance schedule or hides. I just feel that although it's extreme it might be beneficial to geocaching in the long run. How about a compromise cut off date whereby people with over 20 caches hidden can't hide any more but can keep their current ones :D (a bit like the current ruling on virtuals) In addition, to get over the newbie issues, you are not allowed to hide caches until you have 50 finds.

 

It's all hypothetical anyway.

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<<Maybe there should be some line on a new cache form that asks why you are placing the cache. If you can't come up with a good reason then it should not be allowed. >>

 

We're still wholly baffled by this thread. The fundamnetal reason one lays a cache is, surely, for other cachers to find it?? What other reason can there be?

 

Time to shut this thread and get on with geocaching..... and, thank goodness, there are plenty out there... and long may it continue.

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A lot of people (myself included) are very interested in achieving a high number of finds. This could easily be abused though if caches were placed in a way that made it easy to find a large number very quickly, without the caches in question having any notable merit. This would result in 'inflation' in the system devaluing other finds from well thought out caches, just like printing loads of new banknotes results in inflation in an economy. I know many people also aren't bothered with find numbers and will say play the game as you want, but if loads of caches are placed for the sake of it, we can't play the game as we want as numbers becomes meaningless. It was/is my understanding that caching should introduce you to places worth visiting, with hopefully a good hide as an added bonus- not the hide being a raison d'etre in itself (with the possible exception of it being a particularly clever/bold hide- if the hiding technique has been seen many times before and is in an area of no particular merit, what exactly is it bringing to our hobby?).

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It was/is my understanding that caching should introduce you to places worth visiting, with hopefully a good hide as an added bonus- not the hide being a raison d'etre in itself (with the possible exception of it being a particularly clever/bold hide- if the hiding technique has been seen many times before and is in an area of no particular merit, what exactly is it bringing to our hobby?).

That's simply your personal opinion of what you would call a "good" cache. How do you define a place "worth visiting" anyway? That depends on what you like: you should have said "places I consider worth visiting". :laughing:

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The argument of 'personal opinion' seems to be a particularly effective get out clause for anyone wishing to place a huge number of junk caches. It seems the way is open then for anyone wishing to do so, effectively ruining the numbers aspect of this hobby.

You may be right that some people set out to deliberately create poor caches: but

 

a. the "numbers game" is only supposed to be a bit of fun. It ignores the hugely varying amount of effort required in finding caches so the bare number means little anyway.

 

b. the fact remains that you can't objectively define a good cache, so quality is always going to be personal opinion: whether you like it or not.

 

c. where are all these junk caches? I can just about think of a couple which don't have much going for them, but it's hardly an epidemic.

 

As an example of the problem, the last cache I found was placed by a relative newbie (32 finds) but I thought that it was an excellent cache, and I'm sure that the majority would agree; even though it appears that some would have prevented him setting it. However, I know geocachers who wouldn't even think about attempting it. I know of one who stopped geocaching altogether once offset and multicaches became common, as he considered them rubbish by definition.

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I think that it is more likely that the "numbers" aspect is leading to the proliferation of so called "bad" caches.

 

Every find on a cache is a vote for the cache, as the finder has decided that the cache is worth doing.

 

If people were more selective in the caches they hunted, and not so worried about the numbers they find, some caches would have very few visitors and perhaps the hider would be more likely to do something about it.

 

Another problem is it always feels wrong to run down a cache in a "found" log, so cache hiders do not get honest feedback, so how are they to know that some/most people see their hide as "lame".

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The argument of 'personal opinion' seems to be a particularly effective get out clause for anyone wishing to place a huge number of junk caches. It seems the way is open then for anyone wishing to do so, effectively ruining the numbers aspect of this hobby.

You may be right that some people set out to deliberately create poor caches: but

 

a. the "numbers game" is only supposed to be a bit of fun. It ignores the hugely varying amount of effort required in finding caches so the bare number means little anyway.

 

b. the fact remains that you can't objectively define a good cache, so quality is always going to be personal opinion: whether you like it or not.

 

c. where are all these junk caches? I can just about think of a couple which don't have much going for them, but it's hardly an epidemic.

 

As an example of the problem, the last cache I found was placed by a relative newbie (32 finds) but I thought that it was an excellent cache, and I'm sure that the majority would agree; even though it appears that some would have prevented him setting it. However, I know geocachers who wouldn't even think about attempting it. I know of one who stopped geocaching altogether once offset and multicaches became common, as he considered them rubbish by definition.

 

well said! Impossible to define quality objectively!

 

We recently did a large chunk of the WTF series. Individually, some of these caches may have been of a more arguable 'quality' (I hope 'WTF' won't mind me saying :laughing: ) However, the series is designed to be a decent walk down the canal and, as such, each individual cache serves a purpose, and makes the whole walk, taken as one, a wonderful day out! (and before anyone suggests it, a 13 mile walk for a single multi doesn't really appeal...)

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Oh, and I'm still baffled about this so called glut of bad, cr*p, or poor quality caches - am I lucky in that only 1 of my 1000 caches had nothing going for it at all? If we're travelling to a new area in the UK, we tend to look for the easier trads (our choice, no comments please) and even then I've not come across any cr*p ones.

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So far in this thread people's consideration of whether a cache is "quality" or not has concentrated on the location of the hide or the container used, but an equally important part of the experience for me is the content on the cache page itself. I can think of far too many caches which are published simply with information like "35mm film canister, on footpath near woods" - this shows very little imagination to me and hardly inspires me to go and find it, unless it's on my way somewhere. It's a shame because some of these caches are in lovely locations and would be infinitely better if the placer had taken a little bit of time to tell potential finders a bit about the area they are visiting beforehand. All it takes is 10 minutes research on Google. If you're just dropping one in your local wood in which nothing interesting ever happened, why not name it after a particular tree, plant or animal that could be found there? Visitors will find more of a connection with your cache and will be more likely to go and find it.

Another worrying trend is the inclusion of in-jokes on a few cache pages which may put off new cachers or make us all seem a bit too cliquey.

I'd love to see some sort of voluntary charter in place for future caches, maybe that we just all agree to only place a cache in a location which is of some sort of value to a potential visitor, even if that value is just increasing your numbers, and make it clear on the cache page why the cache has been placed.

The more I find, and I am still a relative newbie, the more I am tempted to reward rubbish caches with one line logs.

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A newbie 32 finds? I found my first cache in 2002 and only have 101 finds does that make me a newbie?

Back to my opinion for what it's worth if you don't like certain caches don't do em! It's up to you what you go for, I have been taken to some places where I wonder what i'm doing there and I usually just carry on walking and don't log them. There still are plenty of decent caches out there you just have to be selective in what you decide to do, you can still get caught out with not so good one's now and again but there you go.

Just makes the good ones all the better.

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Yes I think it is probably right that there are not many junk caches out there. I think it is my concern that they could proliferate that makes them stand out in my memory. Back to my earlier point- if the cache setter themself cannot say why they are placing the cache, then they should hardly expect others to take the trouble to visit it. You don't have to visit it has been pointed out, but how do you know in advance if it is worth visiting or not? Also many people feel compelled to 'tidy up' local caches.

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